A Bit of Beliefs

In trying to get back to my readers and other bloggers, I’ve gotten a bit behind schedule in my response posts. So many posts + so many long work hours = so many drafts! Well, despite the fact that I still write everything here using my phone, I’m going to get better at responding and posting…gonna try for a weekly Sunday post again. First up, a quick rundown of various things I hold opinions on, as I promised a while ago;

Relationships
-Friendships must be equal, or as close as humanly possible. I don’t care if it’s between two guys, two girls, or opposite sex friends…no one deserves to be taken advantage of.

-Romantic relationships are nice, and I’m always happy for those who have pleasant/loving ones…but they aren’t a prerequisite for being happy or fulfilled. No one has to date, get married, fall in love, or have children just because society says to. Going your own way is a viable option, and one that I follow myself.
That being said, if you’ve found someone to truly love who also loves you back? Congrats!

-I’m cool with homosexual marriage, the same as I’m cool with heterosexual marriage. Hey, neither one directly affects me, and I think two consenting adults should be able to legally wed the person of their choice. Simple as that, really.

Equality
-None of this “some are more equal than others” shite. Women, men, abled, disabled, all colors, hair types, ethnicities, ages, what-have-you…all are deserving of basic respect and decency. Just make sure you remember to show this to others, too. None of us are so special that you can demand respect and not give any. Entitlement doesn’t fly with me.

-Double standards suck. This goes for ones that are helpful *and* hurtful. I don’t use them in my interactions with others, and it annoys me to no end when others do. Laws that support or condone double standards are in the wrong, and should be changed so that they’re fair.

-I am one of those people who honestly believes that most non-human animals are worthy of just as much respect as us humans. As such, I have not eaten the flesh of any animals (yes, this includes fish/seafood) for 16 years now. I understand that the majority of humans are omnivores, and have never said anything against eating meat even though it’s not for me. But factory farming and/or the willful abuse and neglect of our “lesser” cousins is something that needs to stop.

Religion
-I am Wiccan, and have been since I was 13 or so. It wasn’t a cry for attention then, and it isn’t one now. I’m 30…I won’t be “growing out of” my spiritual beliefs any time soon.

-I believe there is a Goddess and a God. A Lady and a Lord, if you will, who are known by many names. They embody the pure masculine and feminine (not the inaccurate stereotypes), and are to be worshipped and praised as our Creators by anyone who believes. But if you don’t, there’s no worries about Hell (or Heaven, for that matter). You’ll simply be reincarnated, and be able to live through yet another lifetime.

-Speaking of reincarnation, I believe that our immortal souls go through many different lives to learn all they can. You may be a human male in this life, and a human female in the next one. Or you may be a fox, chameleon, stork, or tiger…It all depends on what you need to experience in your upcoming life.

-I believe in evolution and the geographical record, as well as radiometric and carbon dating. Just because science can explain *how* the Lord and Lady made everything doesn’t take away from the terrible beauty that is our world.

-The physical and spiritual world are of equal importance. Nature is not fallen, our bodies aren’t inherently sinful, and each person is their own salvation through their deeds. I’m not entirely sure about the Rule of Three, but karma *will* catch up to you eventually.

-Due to the Goddess and God being equal partners, mortal men and women are born spiritually/morally equal as well. The man is not the “head of the household” simply because he is male. The woman does not “owe obedience” simply because she is female. At the same time, women aren’t “purer” than men, or less likely to be “sinful”. Neither sex is inherently superior or inferior…one is not born to be a follower, same as one is not born to be a leader. One’s life experiences may lead to one having this type of personality, but it is not determined by one’s genitals.

Sex
-Sex is between two or more consenting adults (or similar aged teens). Both parties must be fully conscious and aware of their actions for true consent to occur. Using drugs, alcohol or intimidation to have any type of intercourse with someone else is wrong to do, regardless of your sex or the sex of the potential partner. If you invite a guy/girl up to your room, and they are having trouble walking/talking due to inebriation…they aren’t capable of giving consent.

-Consenting sex between partners is fine, no matter what form it takes. BDSM, roleplaying, water play, mutual masturbation, use of toys, or just plain “vanilla” sex is all valid and okay. So long as no partner is actually harmed and consent is fully given, people should be allowed to engage in whatever sexual activities they enjoy.

-We all have a responsibility to be truthful and safe with our partners. When men and women fake their orgasms it is a type of lie, and should never happen. You owe it to yourself and your partner to be honest about this. Likewise, safe sex should always be a factor, especially if you engage in casual sex. Proper use of condoms, oral sex dams, and birth control pills/injections can help avoid STDs and pregnancy.
Use them!

-Sex is an amazing, wonderful, delicious activity. It is the complete acceptance of your partner in their most vulnerable state, and vice versa. Sex is a bonding experience like no other, and should be treasured as such. Sex is sacred, and it saddens me to see how carelessly American culture treats it.

Interactions
-Not enough people are kind to one another just to be kind. A smile to a stranger, taking time to help an older man with his groceries, holding the door for a harried looking woman, listening to a young man’s problems while you share a bus ride…These actions take little time from your day, but may make all the difference to the person you do them for.

-If someone is in need, help them as best you can. Don’t just walk away from someone who falls or gets hurt. Involve emergency services if necessary. We all have a basic responsibility to assist our fellow beings, whether they are human or not. After all, you’d want someone to stop and help you, right?

-Pay it forward. Next time you have extra money, donate it to a good cause. I personally can’t wait til I’m debt free in 2 years…there are so many honest charities I want to give to! If you can’t give money, consider giving time. I volunteer at my local food pantry during the winter, and the local ASPCA all year long. It feels wonderful knowing that your actions are making someone else’s life that much better.

-Be friendly/happy. Obviously if you are having a truly bad day, don’t lie about how you’re feeling. But would it kill people to return a smile or ask how someone is? Going through your day with a scowl, or snapping at random people you meet is rather immature and makes you look bad, besides. Isn’t it better to make others feel happier being around you?

-Always look on the bright side of life (thank you, Life of Brian!). Even if you are having a bad day, know that it *will* get better. Maybe you didn’t get the promotion you worked for, the other kids at school stole your books again, you had an argument with your spouse, or something similar. That’s only what happened today…tomorrow is coming up, and if you’re around to see it? Well the possibilities are nearly endless!

-If you need help, don’t be ashamed for asking for it. Most of my advice is about helping others, because I personally have a good life right now, and can do that. However, if you are one of those people in need…get help! Whether you have PTSD, are in an abusive relationship, have a mental health issue, or anything you can’t handle on your own, you owe it to yourself to get assistance and change your situation. Talk to others, let them know that you need someone to listen or comfort you. Find someone that you can cry around, and who will validate your feelings. Everybody needs some type of help during their lifetime. Asking for it doesn’t make you weak…it makes you normal.

That’s it from me, for now. As always, please be polite to other commenters and feel free to ask questions or give feedback. Should you wish to talk privately, simply use my contact page. Oh, and remember that this is how *I* feel about these topics…they are *my* opinions. If you have a different one, that’s fine with me, so long as it doesn’t harm others or you get irrationally angry when others don’t feel as you do.

Thanks for reading!

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20 thoughts on “A Bit of Beliefs

  1. Sophia, if you don’t mind, I have a question for you as a vegetarian.

    I am not a vegetarian (and honestly cannot forsee circumstances under which I would become one) but I respect those who choose that path.

    However, if I were one, I would disapprove of those mock-meat products (Fakin’ Bacon, Tofurky, TVP in the shape of steaks or chicken or whatnot). Because after all, are they not an implicit admission that meat is tasty and ought to be emulated?

    I feel the same way about faux fur. If you object to wearing fur, you shouldn’t wear fake fur, because it endorses the whole concept of fur.

    Do you feel this way? Or am I overthinking it?

  2. No, you’re not overthinking it. There’s quite a few vegetarians that *do* feel that way. For example, I don’t wear clothing that looks like fur precisely for the reason you mention.

    The thing (for me) is this: Meat *is* tasty. When I eat with friends, coworkers or family members, I still salivate from the smell of their beef with broccoli, turkey sandwiches, chicken soup, pork chops, cocktail shrimp, or salmon steaks. I’m still human, and my biology still thinks I’m an omnivore and responds as such.

    I willingly became the only vegetarian in my family when I was 13, the same year (not coincidentally) that I became Wiccan. It was very difficult for me to give up all meat, and having these fake meats in my diet actually makes it much easier on me. Most of them don’t look like real meats, just the same as most of them can’t reproduce the “savory” aspect that I miss so much (the brand Quorn is a nice exception since they use mushrooms instead of soy). In short, it may be stupid of me to enjoy the fake taste of meat…but I don’t feel bad about eating them since the alternative is gross (to me).

    Did that help at all? 🙂

  3. It does help, thank you!

    I always presumed (probably foolishly) that the fake meat was for people who gave up meat for religious or health reasons rather than philosophical ones. It never occurred to me that you could be a moral vegetarian and still crave meat. LOL.
    The things you learn on teh interwebz. 😀

    Are you a vegan? I could probably become a vegetarian if I were still permitted to eat cheese. Good bread with good cheese is one of my weaknesses.

  4. Well, I consider myself to have given it up for religious reasons…like I said, I became Wiccan and vegetarian at the same time. It really reinforces my beliefs: to try my absolute best to “Harm None”.

    But yeah, I still crave meat when my friends and family have it, or I’m preparing it for someone else.

    No, I’m not vegan. I don’t eat anything from the animal kingdom that has to die…honey, yeast, yogurt, humane milk, humane eggs, and kosher cheese is safe. Thus, I support my local farms that are dedicated to treating their livestock the right way. It costs more, of course…but I don’t mind, since it’s going towards making a fellow being’s life better than it could have been. 😀

  5. Wow, so much really sound, ethical thinking here 🙂 Very much with you on just about everything!

    Rohan.

  6. Makes a lot of sense. I recently gotten involved with paganism, myself. I like the equality and the ethics of “harm none.” That’s the ethics that I had developed on my own. For instance, while some people claim that gay marriage harms families or marriage, I can’t see how it does. But I can see how homophobia and denying gay marriage can harm people. Children have fewer resources available and telling any group of people that they are subhuman, so can’t marry, harms them. Plus, when gays are stigmatized and marriage for them is forbidden, you find more gays and straights marrying, which isn’t good for anyone.

  7. The metric I personally use is basic respect for other living things…in this case, other humans. Every person that I encounter starts off in my mind as having say, 50 points of respect. As I get to know them better, that level of respect will drop (if they’re rude, conceited, aggressive, etc) or the respect I have for them will rise (if they’re kind, humorous, honest, etc). Obviously I don’t keep an actual numbers tally in my head, but it works for purposes of explanation.

    Hierarchy is a tricky topic. There are certainly various strict hierarchies like the military or large corporations. In extreme cases like this, it should be evident to anyone that a General or CEO is much higher up than a Staff Sergeant or cubicle worker. As such, their position does afford them more respect, especially in those organizations. But it’s not as though their lives have greater value, they are still “worth” as much as everyone else.

    So yes, in my worldview a subordinate is equal to their boss in regards to them as *a person*, even if their position in their line of work is not high.

    Does this answer your question sufficiently?

  8. @tarnished sophia

    Yeah. But the kicker is like in the game of chess. Some pieces are more expendable than others. If a sacrifice has to be made the pawn is more often the casualty. The common soldiers is more expendable than the sergeant the colonel and the general.

    So even the worth of life is not equal in a hierarchical setting.

  9. While this is true when you think of war (or corporations laying off numerous workers), it is still wrong to think of the average man/woman as having less worth than another. Yes, the General/Owner has more knowledge or power than the soldier/cashier…but should that really equate to their lives meaning less?

    Each person has their own goals, hopes, and fears…we each live one life at a time. Who is to say that the life of Sarah Soldier/Joe Janitor is utterly expendable and without worth, but the life of George General or Christina CEO is far superior? After all, the rock that sits on *top* of the mountain is only able to do so because of all the *others* that form the base.

  10. Well I agree that the people at the bottom of the hierarchy are not utterly expendable. But in the life of the organism.(I am not talking about morality here) The loss of a grunt is less consequential than the loss of the higher up. Consider the janitor, he is more replaceable than a more highly skilled(in a meritocratic society) engineer. Preservation is preferable. But when sacrifices must be made the janitor is more likely to go first.

    Hopefully technology will make preservation more likely. But in a hard world. This is reality. Men are more expendable than women for example. They are still needed for the tribe to survive but women are more valuable biologically and to preserve their lives over men in general in a situation where sacrifices have to be made(when sabre-tooth tiger attacks for example) which practically maximizes the survival of the tribe.

  11. Ah, so you’re not coming from a moral/ethical perspective…you’re talking about “one must be sacrificed for the good of the many.” Interesting.

    I don’t often take that route in my thinking, as I’ve never had my daily life influenced in this way. But I suppose it could…After all, a lone gunman could decide to shoot up another movie theater. In this scenario, I’d attempt to cover my friends though: Each of my friends is male and older, but they also have wives/children, whereas I don’t. If we take nothing else into account, I *should* be the most expendable since it would be worse for my “tribe” to lose a successful breadwinner/mating partner than to lose a single person like myself.

    The fact that I am physically female shouldn’t factor into this situation, especially because I have no desire to mate or use my womb. I’d only be less expendable if I really *was* more valuable biologically…but as it stands, I’d die for my friends.

  12. Regarding hierarchy:
    In Russell Shorto’s book about the early days of New Amsterdam (I think it’s called The Island At The Center Of The World or something like that), he discusses some Dutch loan-words and concepts. One of them is “baas”, the derivation of the modern English word “boss”. Not only the word, but the IDEA was unheard of in the English-speaking world. Previous to the 17th century, the person you worked for was your lord, or your master, or your better, or possibly even your owner. “Boss” implies someone in charge, who is above you in employment structure but *not* in social rank. It was revolutionary and very American. 🙂

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